Kenneth L. “Ken” Haskell
Kenneth LaVerne Haskell was born November 24, 1926 to Charlie and Elda (Chapman) Haskell at Garden
City, Kansas. They moved to Kiowa County in Colorado when he was two years old. Kenneth grew up
and attended school at Brandon, Colorado. When he was 17 years old, he and a couple of friends went
to California and worked at Hills Brother Factory. At the age of 19 on August 20, 1945, he joined the
Army, was deployed to Korea, and was honorably discharged on January 31, 1947.
Having lived on a farm for most of his life, he returned home then started farming and ranching in the
Kiowa County area. On October 19, 1948 he married the love of his life, Juanita Wright. To this union
five children were born: Wayne LaVerne, Aleta Lynn, Danny Lane, Larry Leroy, and Brenda Lorraine. In
1951-52, farming was poor due to the drought conditions and he worked several months at the Pueblo
Steel Mill. Sometime after Brenda was born, he moved his family to Prowers County continuing to farm
and ranch in Kiowa and Prowers Counties.
Later when he began farming and ranching in the Lamar area he also worked in the sale ring at the local livestock auction company on sale day. Other ranchers contracted him as a buyer for their cattle due to his knowledge in the business. He sold his high quality alfalfa to several of the race horse people in the surrounding regions. He had “uncanny” mechanical skills and if he couldn’t find what he needed, he would design and make any tool or item to handle specific situations on the farm. He always lent a helping hand to his neighbors as they did him. During one harvest one of he neighbors was hurt and he gathered every other neighbor together and they ensured the hurt farmer’s chores and harvest were completed. In about 1974, Kenneth and Juanita moved to town in Lamar and continued to farm and ranch until they sold the farm about a year or so later. Through the winter months, the choice of fun was card parties with all the neighbors throughout their lives.
He then decided he needed to do something else as Juanita was working for the census bureau, so for a few years he went to work for the Department of Agriculture gathering local farm data. In 1979 Kenneth helped reorganize the Lamar Fraternal Order of Eagles and instituted Lamar Aerie 3898 and became an active member of the Eagles. In September 1985, he and Juanita decided to move closer to the mountains and ended up in Canon City, Colorado. After moving to Canon City, he helped revitalize the Florence Fraternal Order of the Eagles. During the ensuring years, he served as a Local President and about 15 years as a Local Secretary, State President, 12 years as State Secretary, 4-Corners Regional President, and was recognized at the National Level for his achievements by being inducted into the National Hall of Fame. He and Juanita traveled over 12,000 miles visiting the various Aerie homes in the 4-corner states, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, during the year he was 4-Corners Regional President. He was proud to be an Eagle; a true Eagle!
He was a proud supporter of his children in their many endeavors while they were growing up. He enjoyed watching and being involved with them during their sporting events: gymnastics, football, and wrestling. This enjoyment led to Kenneth and Juanita’s involvement in the Sports Booster Club and having served as Co-Presidents. Their involvement continued even after all the children left home. During this time, he had become a “Grandpa”. He enjoyed watching many of his grandchildren as they began growing up and participating in their youth sports and activities. In the years following, he was able to enjoy seeing his great grandchildren as they began their growing up and participating in their youth sports and activities too. During the last few years, he loved the videos of the great-grandchildren playing ball.
He was an avid supporter of 4-H and helped his children with their livestock and gardening projects – but he made them do it – Just supervised them to provide them adequate knowledge to be independent.
He taught each of his children to drive beginning at an extremely young age as he was feeding cattle in the fields and pasture in the fall and winter. They all learned to steer the pickup standing up and later learned to drive thru the pastures and fields on tractors and other equipment along with the pickup.
Kenneth taught his children and grandchildren to ride horses and they loved it! Kenneth and Juanita were active in the Vaqueros Saddle Club. He bought a couple of tiny ponies that produced a couple of colts and bought a stagecoach and a buggy. Juanita and he drove the stagecoach in many of the local parades in Lamar and the surrounding areas as well as the State Fair Parade in Pueblo. The ponies and their colts were crowd pleasers during the parades. Many of the memories of his children and especially some of the grandchildren were riding with or watching him. He added sled bars to the buggy and during December for several years, he and one of his friends drove around town with their Christmas stocking hats on tossing candy and telling the children that they better be good as Santa was coming. What a blast!!
Fishing was one of his favorite past times with Juanita, his children and grandchildren for many years. He fished at the many local lakes such as Queens, John Martin, and Sweetwater and on the river. Later he and Juanita bought a motor home and boat and spent many fun hours with the family and friends fishing at Blue Mesa and Eleven Mile. He enjoyed the many, many trips with the Eagles in their motor home.
His children used to laugh when they were younger as he could cuss up a storm when he was frustrated or something went wrong just like his brother , Charles. At home and at every gathering of family and or friends, his humor and antics broke everyone up. Many of you have those special memories.
Although Juanita and he had their ups and downs as all couples do, Kenny and Juanita were sweethearts and true partners throughout their 63 years together. He felt that the measure of man was how he handled his word and a shake of the hand. His children and many others feel he was a very wise and intelligent man with a lot of common sense, the “BEST” man they have ever known, and a great leader, teacher, and mentor. He was the bestest “Daddy” and “Grandpa”. He embraced each child’s chosen partner and their children with so much love and respect. His actions at one time or another made believers out of the children that there are definitely divine angels and God at work. For example: Larry was riding the horse checking cattle along the canal while Kenneth and Aleta were driving on the canal road on the other side. Cattle were spooked out of the trees and weeds startling the horse. The horse started bucking in a circular motion Larry’s foot caught in the stirrup. Kenneth slammed on the brakes and baled out of the pickup, off the 15-foot bank into the middle of the of the canal that was 25-30 feet wide with about 12-18 inches of water running, onto the top of the bank on the other side in that one leap . He grabbed Larry in his arms, baled off the bank and made two leaps across and landed on the bank of the other side. He put Larry in the seat into Aleta’s arms and took off. Larry was babbling crazy stuff and he told him to be quiet. He sped home, called the doctor, grabbed Mom and took off for the hospital. “The kicker – His shoes and pants were NOT WET when he jumped into the pickup and when he got home to grab Mom.” Larry believes he is probably alive today as he only remembers two voices for a brief second throughout this ordeal which he thought was his Daddy’s and the Doctor?
Most of all, almost everyone remembers Kenneth for his love of dancing with his wife, Juanita. In the early, early years, family and friends gathered at each other’s places for dancing and friendship. In one area quilts and blankets we laid out for all the children to sleep on when they got tired. The children and at least one grandchild took square dance lessons and learned to dance as part of the Dudes and Dames in Lamar and 4-H. As the years ensued Ken danced with his wife every chance they had at any function they attended – the last time being in April 2012 at the Eagles Spring Conference in Aurora, CO. All loved watching him dance with his lovely wife, Juanita . His children say – they had their own unique magic feet – like gliding on water and floating on ice!!
Ken is preceded in death by his parents, by one son – Wayne Haskell, and by four siblings- Alberta Carr, Raymond Haskell, Charles Haskell, and Wayne Haskell.
Ken is survived by his wife of 63 years - Juanita Haskell of Canon City, CO; by four children – Aleta Shoemaker of Bennett, CO; Dan (Pam Thornson) Haskell of Jupiter, FL; Larry (Cheryl) Haskell of Northglenn, CO; and Brenda Haskell of Pueblo, CO; by eleven grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of St. John's either directly to 1320 Everett Ct.; Lakewood, CO 80215 or through the funeral home office - 209 S. 4th St. Lamar, Colorado 81052.
Visitation and funeral services for Ken Haskell were under the direction of the Peacock Funeral Home, providing our neighbors with four generations of trust and service.
TO THE FAMILY OF KENNETH HASKELL: SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. I MISS SEEING ALL OF YOU.
Kenneth Haskell. You were the best brother a girl could have.You will be greatly missed.
To the Kenneth Haskell family: Our prayers are with you all. Aleta is so special to us, if we can do anything for you we would be honored. Please except our sincere sympathy.
Val Persichette & Kevin Wolff
My thought and prayers are with you. Miss you Uncle Kenneth.
Love you big brother you will be very missed by your little sister. Will be very strange for you not to be at our reunion, except in our hearts.
Kenneth Haskell. I miss you Grandpa. You will forever be near my heart.